Three-minute thesis: Aptabiotics: fighting resistant bacteria with nanosilver


Jennifer Soundy, Victoria University of Wellington

PhD title

Development of DNA aptamers to Pseudomonas aeruginosa using whole-cell SELEX and their use as smart nanomedicines to deliver antimicrobial nanosilver


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterium, commonly infecting the immunocompromised and patients with hospital implants. In 2017, the World Health Organization placed it in the Priority 1 category of pathogens in need of new antibiotics, within which it ranked as the second most threatening to human health. This research has developed an alternative approach to fighting infections by binding silver nanoclusters to DNA aptamers targeted at P. aeruginosa. Silver loaded DNA aptamers deliver an effective dose of toxic silver directly to the bacteria and is a promising new therapeutic that has been termed aptabiotics.”

The finals of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges PhD students to communicate their research in a snappy three-minute presentation, were held on the 29 September at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Competitors came from 55 Universities from across Australia, New Zealand and North and South-East Asia. 

The presentations were judged by distinguished figures in Australian science including Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.

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